When a credible actor like Nawazuddin Siddiqui is playing the role of Dashrath Manjhi, your exceptions of the movie go up. However, just like he did with Mangal Panday, director Ketan Mehta makes you walk out of the theatre feeling disappointed.
Manjhi – The Mountain Man, tells the story of why and how Dashrath Manjhi from Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar spent 22 years of his life chiseling through a mountain to carve a path. While the story is truly inspiring, Ketan doesn’t really do justice to it thanks to mediocre direction and some terrible screenplay. Instead of concentrating on the difficulties Manjhi had to face through these 22 years, Ketan focuses more on unnecessary skin-show for most of the first half. The second half of the film picks up pace initially but then feels laboured, with a number of untied loose ends. One wonders if Ketan did his homework before making the biographic. The story-telling is so terrible that Dashrath Manjhi must have rolled in his grave.
While the storyline is weak, Nawazuddin does total justice to the character. He is exceptionally good in emotional scenes. Radhika Apte is decent as Phalgunia, but it would have been nice if she didn’t show as much skin as she did. Ashraf Ul Haque, playing Manjhi’s father, looked younger than Nawazuddin, and overacted on most occasions. Rest of the cast could have been better as well.
Music and background score by Sandesh Shandilya is decent, and so is the cinematography by Rajeev Jain. Editing by Pratiek Chitalia could have been better, for the movie unnecessarily drags.
Is it worth your time and money?: Nope. Manjhi – The Mountain Man could have been a very inspiring motion picture, but Ketan Mehta makes a mess of another biopic!
Worth mention: Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s acting.
Technical Aspects: 7/10